Ripper Street

Ripper Street

A New British Series that looks back to the late-Victorian Age has debuted. Originally from the BBC, Ripper Street is now airing on Space in Canada as well. I’ve put a post to the official online feed from Space. If you are unable to read it, you may need to do a little research on the web to figure out how to watch.

I suggest that you take the time to watch if you can. Ripper Street follows a group of detectives, lead by a man who failed to find Jack the Ripper in the original Whitechapel Murders. It’s now 1889 and a woman has been murdered with all the signs of being the Ripper’s next Victim. But wait. It’s not Jack. Someone else is killing in the streets of London and the police must track down this killer before he kills again.

I’ve only watched the first episode but it was fun. A bit gruesome (appropriate, given the crime genre). Think a “Victorian CSI”.

I would not necessarily say that the series is a brilliant revelation by any means. I’m hoping it grows on me. The preview for the next episode looks promising so I will continue to watch.

A silly contribution to the Victorian and Edwardian Research Page but one that may be of interest to people interested in the Neo-Victorian.



Walter Pater’s Renaissance


I love Walter Pater. I want to go back in time and have an affair with Walter Pater. Yes, I love him that much. Pater’s work influences my approach to literature and to critical theory. Pater’s anachronistic vision of the Renaissance as an idea that transcends a particular time prefigures our contemporary ideas that resist “periodisation” in literary studies. I filter all of my readings of literary theory and criticism through his ideas. He reminds me that the critic’s perspective, one’s subjectivity informs and changes a work of art. As a reader, as a viewer in a museum, theatre, or cineplex, I inform and change the experience of art.

His views on Hellenism are of particular interest to me and my own work because of the way he reads same-sex desire. Unlike modern conceptions of sexuality that categorize and diagnose sexuality through the eyes of medicine, same-sex desire was, for Pater, an intellectual experience, a world-view that allows the queer man or woman to bring fresh ideas to cultures and communities.

The following YouTube Clip from learnoutloud is a passage from one of his most famous essays in Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873). Pater’s writing is poetic because he saw criticism as a work of art. I am nowhere near the writer that Pater was, but in my formal academic writing, I try to always keep him in mind when I put my pen to paper. All writing is an art and we should never forget that.

Enjoy the beauty of Walter Pater’s words and have a lovely week.